WHILE hipster Millennials are snacking on smashed avo bruschetta and bitching about the property market, 23-year-old Nick Andreula is sticking his hard-earned cash into a top-level automotive investment – this staunch, low-10-second HG Premier. “I grew up around Fords,” Nick says. “I had an XW as my first old-school car because Uncle Donato and Uncle Phil both had one; Dad isn’t really into cars.”
But as teenage Nick began to hone his taste, his heart became firmly set on the clean lines of Holden’s HG Premier. “I like the class and elegance of the early H-series Holdens, which is why I changed teams and bought one.”
The then-18-year-old apprentice hunted for a year before locating a tidy example in Victoria. “I got as many pics as I could from the owner, before my uncle Donato and I went for a look that weekend, bringing the car back with us,” he says.
And while the Prem was already a neat driver, well equipped with a 383ci small-block Chev, Powerglide and nine-inch, Nick wanted more. “I upped the ante with a bigger motor, bigger axles, bigger everything,” he smiles. “I wanted a tough street cruiser, and, as I’m pretty fussy, I knew that the build would escalate. I had a good starting point.”
Over the next four years, Nick poured his wages into the black beast. And for him, it was all about sliding in a stout carby-fed 434ci Chev up front.
Dino Cecere was entrusted to whip up the Prem’s new powerplant. Inside the Dart Sportsman block, Dino’s packed a Scat crank and rods, forged Wiseco pistons and a custom roller cam. Up top is a pair of modified AFR 227cc heads, with a port-matched Super Victor manifold and Quick Fuel 950 carb. A Holley pump feeds the PULP forward from the boot-mounted CDS fuel cell, while sparking the lot is an MSD Pro-Billet dizzy and ignition.
Spent gasses zoom through 0.75-inch Pacemaker extractors down a three-inch stainless system and out. A Meziere electric water pump, plumbed to a Ron Davis radiator and fanned by a pair of 10-inch Ron Davis thermos, cools the whole shebang.
“Dino built me a stinker motor, exactly how I wanted it,” Nick says of the proven 670rwhp, 605ft-lb small-block.
Behind it, Nick’s kept the trusty Powerglide, adding a 4800 TCE stall. “Having only two gears is a lot of fun, and the boxes are bulletproof!” he says.
Out back, Carmine and Dino from CDS Engineering & Body Repairs reworked everything to suit the 10-inch Center Line Auto Drags by lengthening the wheel arches and shortening the nine-inch. The diff is packed with a Strange centre, Truetrac, 4.3 gears and 31-spline axles.
Externally, Tom and the team from Pro Paint N Panel straightened and repaired the body before laying on the shiny black PPG coating.“The car had a few blisters and blemishes to
WHEN Nick was building the HG motor, everyone was telling him to go LS turbo because it’s cheap power. “But there was no way I’d put a turbo in a car like the Prem; for me it’s not correct for that era,” he asserts. “Yet after I’d been in a few turbo cars, I knew I wanted that rush. I didn’t want a Japanese car, so the only other car in my eyes was a VL Calais turbo.”
The exterior paint and body was already done, and Nick painted the engine bay. “I’m doing more of this build myself,” he says. It’ll run an RB30, with forged pistons, cam, and strong internals to handle boost from the Garrett 3582R turbo. Behind is an R33 RB25 manual ’box with a shortened BorgWarner diff, Harrop centre and 31-spline Strange axles. “The motor has just been finished, and hopefully I’ll have it in soon, get the wiring done and then she’s good to go racing.”
“Uncle Donato hates the Center Lines,” Nick says, “but to me they’re the perfect wheel. And I think beadlocks look tough, so for something different I had them welded onto the Auto Drags”
Nick has kept colour to a minimum in his neat black and alloy engine bay. The silver AFR heads and Super Victor high-rise catch your eye, drawing you in to appreciate the super-tidy surrounds and hidden wiring. Yup, shiny under-bonnet paint and show detail on a proven 10sec ride!
IT RAN A 10.06@133MPH AT AIR LATE LAST YEAR. I REALLY WANTED TO CRACK A NINE; IT WAS SO CLOSE!
The delicious factory-spec black Premier interior has only the essential additions. Under the dash sits the Moroso switchboard controls, while beside the HG Monaro tiller is an Auto Meter monster tacho with a couple of extra Auto Meter gauges centred in front of the B&M Pro Ratchet stick
“My nonna gave me the corno – that’s chilli in Italian,” says Nick of his rearview mirror adornment. “Its purpose is to keep you safe and bring good luck upon you. I have them in both of my cars”
“I added a 4in fibreglass reverse-cowl scoop to the metal bonnet for clearance, and they look tough,” Nick says fix, plus the work I had done on the rear end and tidying the engine bay,” Nick says.
Maintaining that sinister look, the dark hue carries through to the cabin in a tweaked traditional style. Trim By Mooch swathed the original seats, doors and hoodlining in factory vinyl, even retaining the pressed Premier embellishments. The steering wheel is an HG Monaro item with a monster Auto Meter tacho swinging off the side, while a B&M Pro Ratchet bangs it into top gear.
“I didn’t intend to go this insane with the motor and stuff like that,” Nick says, “and I never intended on racing it. Now I’ve raced three times, and I was pretty happy with the final number that it ran – a 10.06@133mph at AIR late last year. I really wanted to crack a nine; it was so close! But the last race meet took its toll on the black paint, so I said to myself I wouldn’t race it anymore.
“Dino gave the engine a quick tune-up last weekend and hinted that I should take it back out, but I dunno. I have a VL Calais Turbo that’s almost finished. That’s the car I’m going to have fun with and run some numbers down the quarter.”
The HG will forthwith be cruised and enjoyed, as Nick basks in the glory of what he’s achieved. You’d have to go a mighty long way to find a prouder Millennial.
“I’m really happy that I took the Premier to the level that it’s at, and I have pride in what I’ve built,” he says. “People are amazed that I have a car of this quality at my age. It’s pretty rewarding. Now I just want to enjoy the Prem and cruise it. Cars can get to the point of stressing you out, so the best thing to do is just enjoy it – and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Colour: PPG Black
DONK Block: Dart Sportsman 434ci smallblock Chev
Manifold: Super Victor ported
Induction: Quick Fuel 950
Heads: AFR 227cc modified
Cam: Custom roller
Pistons: Forged Wiseco pistons
Crank: Scat 4340
Conrods: Scat 2000
Fuel pump: Custom Holley 150, CDS fuel cell
Water pump: Electric Meziere water pump
Cooling: Ron Davis radiator, two 10in thermo fans
Exhaust: Pacemaker 1.75in extractors, 3in stainless system
Ignition: MSD Pro-Billet dizzy and ignition, MSD leads
Converter: 4800 TCE
Diff: 9in, Strange centre, 4.3s, Truetrac, 31-spline axles
Front suspension: Pedders springs, Koni shocks
Rear suspension: King leaf, Koni shocks, CDS CalTracs
Brakes: Wilwood discs and calipers (f), drums (r); Wilwood master cylinder
Seats: HG Premier
Steering wheel: HG Monaro
Gauges: Auto Meter
Shifter: B&M Pro Ratchet
Wheels: Center Line Auto Drag; 15x5.5 (f), 15x10 with OMF beadlocks (r)
Tyres: Mickey Thompson 165/80R15 (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street 295/55R15 (r)
Tom and the boys from Pro Paint N Panel for the time and effort they put in; Carmine and Dino from CDS Engineering & Body Repairs for their high-quality work and great advice; Dino Cecere for building the motor exactly how I wanted it; my friends and family for their support and help in the shed